The Little Match Girl By Hans Christian Andersen"The Little Match Girl" explores a dying child's dreams and hopes. It is a somber perspective of what has changed since 1845 when it was written and what has not.
On a cold New Year's Eve, a poor little girl sits in the street trying to sell matches. She is frozen, but fears going home because her evil stepfather will beat her for not selling any matches. Instead, the poor little match girl takes shelter in a corner and lights the matches to keep warm.
In the glow of each match, the girl envisions the life she wished she had. She sees things in the flame like a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. Suddenly, a shooting star streaks across the sky and she remembers her grandmother explaining that a falling star means a soul is going to Heaven. With the next match she lights, a vision of her grandmother appears, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. Trying to keep the vision of her grandmother alive for as long as she can, she continues to strike matches.
Just as she runs out of matches, the little girl dies and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. The next morning, villagers find the child dead and take pity on the poor little match girl.